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Out in the open

Serafina Silaitoga
Friday, December 28, 2012

FOR the past two months, Shiu Wati and her small family have used an open cooking shed as their bedroom — after their house collapsed in October.

While Ms Wati and her 16-year-old daughter, Shobna Prasad lie on a small wooden bed, Ms Wati's brother Kalka Prasad uses planks neatly arranged on the dirt floor as his bed.

And every night, the three have endured the cold, mosquito bites and drizzles.

However, if it rains heavily, then the three join Ms Wati's sister and her mother inside the house which is adjacent to the shed.

The shed in Tovata, outside Labasa Town was built on Ms Wati's sister's piece of land after the family house collapsed.

Ms Wati's brother, Kalka, is mentally challenged and has lived with his sister for more than 10 years.

"The wooden foundation of our home was rotting and getting old," Ms Wati shared.

"So one afternoon while sitting inside our home with my children, the floor just collapsed and the wooden poles as well."

"The house fell to one side and everything fell to pieces so we moved to my sister's piece of land and built another house and the open shed from the timber of the old home," Ms Wati said.

"If it rains a lot at night, then we move into the house that is occupied by my sister and my mother.

"The house is small so we let them stay there and the three of us stay in the shed to sleep at night."

For Ms Wati, the life of poverty she lives in doesn't matter much as long as her family lives together peacefully and lovingly.





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